Bug Or Feature? AMD's Catalyst Doesn't Recognize NB Driver

Installation And Verification

To eliminate all possible sources of errors, we used clean Windows 7 installations with no drivers or updates installed, except for the Windows 7 updates.

In the Device Manager->System section, we selected "AMD PCI Express (3GIO) Driver," where we found the files atipcie.sys (x86) or atipcie64.sys (x64). These are the default drivers. We noted the installed driver version before proceeding.

We then unpacked the current version of Catalyst into the suggested directory and started the installation, pausing at the initial choice of either installing or uninstalling the driver.

We had to choose "Uninstall" and then "Custom Uninstall" to check whether any components were recognized by the installer. The result confirmed what we were expecting based on the described symptoms: Catalyst did not recognize any installed components, even though the driver was already installed by Windows 7 and Windows Update had been run.

After starting the installation again, we chose "Installation" and then "Custom Installation."

In addition to the USB drivers, we were offered the option of installing the northbridge drivers. Interestingly, the version offered was the same as the one already installed. We chose to install the drivers anyway to avoid confusion. The installation completed successfully.

After the mandatory reboot, we opened the Catalyst installer again to check the options for uninstalling the drivers.

Except for the USB drivers, no other components are displayed. When we switched over to the installation routine, where the driver was suggested for installation once more, nothing indicated that it was already installed!

Even if you only notice this issue when using the Custom installation mode (Express mode reveals little information about the installation process), we can understand being confused. Let’s set out to find the cause and a possible solution.

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61 comments
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    Top Comments
  • AMW1011
    THESE are the type of articles that made Tom's awesome years ago, hopefully you guys will keep them coming.

    Thanks, very interesting.
    26
  • The Greater Good
    The "Bug or feature" only works with Apple.

    ...just sayin...
    13
  • youssef 2010
    A very useful article.I never knew this feature existed because I never ran into any problems whatsoever with AMD's drivers.Now,

    @lradunovic77:you might want to try the driver release that fried the GPUs from Nvidia or the flagship GTX295 that overheatead and didn't run some games on high resolution due to limited frame buffer(which it was designed to do).I think ATI might have some driver problems but, they never released a driver that fried GPUs(at least none that I know of).Just think of their 4670 and shut up.

    @superflux: just please read the drivers release notes to know if your laptop brand is supported or not,as I ran into the same trouble with my laptop when I couldn't update my drivers and finally found out that the only drivers that will work are the ones supplied by the manufacturer of the laptop.
    Sorry for the long comment.:)
    11
  • Other Comments
  • icepick314
    I would like to hear what AMD says about their Catalyst installer "bug"...
    8
  • AMW1011
    THESE are the type of articles that made Tom's awesome years ago, hopefully you guys will keep them coming.

    Thanks, very interesting.
    26
  • tigsounds
    So, I guess since I installed with the express method, I'll never know.
    7
  • superflux
    It still didn't work for me on my radeon 3200 laptop...
    -4
  • omoronovo
    Am I the only one that took note of the fact that the driver version installed was "1.3.3.7"? Maybe Microsoft and ATI/AMD were trying to tell you not to bother :p
    9
  • dlpatague
    Yes I love articles like this also. Very informative and helpful.
    10
  • The Greater Good
    The "Bug or feature" only works with Apple.

    ...just sayin...
    13
  • Anonymous
    This problem has certainly been around for years. I remember posting a question about it on the AMDGame forums.
    3
  • Anonymous
    How about just installing 10.6!
    8
  • Ciuy
    wtf, update? why they hide it? wtf ATI !!!!!!!
    -3
  • dimitrik
    I have been fighting (and giving) with this since forever! Thanks for a very useful article!

    This is why I visit this site!
    7
  • youssef 2010
    A very useful article.I never knew this feature existed because I never ran into any problems whatsoever with AMD's drivers.Now,

    @lradunovic77:you might want to try the driver release that fried the GPUs from Nvidia or the flagship GTX295 that overheatead and didn't run some games on high resolution due to limited frame buffer(which it was designed to do).I think ATI might have some driver problems but, they never released a driver that fried GPUs(at least none that I know of).Just think of their 4670 and shut up.

    @superflux: just please read the drivers release notes to know if your laptop brand is supported or not,as I ran into the same trouble with my laptop when I couldn't update my drivers and finally found out that the only drivers that will work are the ones supplied by the manufacturer of the laptop.
    Sorry for the long comment.:)
    11
  • youssef 2010
    icepick314I would like to hear what AMD says about their Catalyst installer "bug"...

    So would I
    2
  • viewwin
    I wish my hd 5770 would just play any game with windows 7 64bit. I get an ATI driver crash every time. Google turned up tons of people with the same problems.
    0
  • user-one
    so what the article is saying is that if you do an express setup then the problem is solved? well, there you go glad i could point out the already availalble solution. Are you sure this site isn't part of the US Government?
    -10
  • lradunovic77
    @yousseff 2010 obviously you don't run crossfire or tri crossfire system, only 10.4 works ok with that setup, everything else is crap. Also case Nvidia has is the only example you could put out there. Wtf you are talking about, think of their 4670?
    CCC is a crap and other million people will tell you the same. ATI needs 4 months before they fix all issues with new released game. Crossfire scale is a joke compared to SLI. Latest 10.6 is horrible for BF BC2 in Crossfire setup. I can give you list and list of broken things with CCC, not to mention lack of good AA support. What a joke!
    -10
  • Bolbi
    I have encountered the North Bridge problem (says it installs correctly but then doesn't recognize that if you run the installer again) for as long as I can remember. I'll definitely try the workaround (and update) options when I upgrade to the 10.7's in a few days.
    4
  • Rosanjin
    Just a thought, but I'd like to make a suggestion to the folks that complain about ATI drivers. Thoroughly check your power supply. If the PSU is not supplying the juice required by the card(s), you're going to get repeated driver error messages. Make doubly sure the +12v rail isn't drooping. This is a fairly common issue that causes a lot of misplaced blame.

    Cheers, and happy computing. :)
    10
  • domenic
    It don't think you can classify this as a bug because the default configuration has been set this way. it would be interesting know why.
    1
  • mtd324
    lradunovic77@yousseff 2010 obviously you don't run crossfire or tri crossfire system, only 10.4 works ok with that setup, everything else is crap. Also case Nvidia has is the only example you could put out there. Wtf you are talking about, think of their 4670?CCC is a crap and other million people will tell you the same. ATI needs 4 months before they fix all issues with new released game. Crossfire scale is a joke compared to SLI. Latest 10.6 is horrible for BF BC2 in Crossfire setup. I can give you list and list of broken things with CCC, not to mention lack of good AA support. What a joke!


    ....BF:BC2@ runs perfect for me with latest drivers. 40-50fps @ 1600x900 Med-Hi details 4x AA. And I only have a 1GB HD4850 running on an i5-750.

    One of us is the exception to the rule here....
    3